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About the author:
Marina Martindale resides in Tucson, Arizona. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, photography, quilt making, and cooking.
What inspired you to write your book?
“The Reunion” is inspired by someone I once knew, long ago. Over the years I’ve often wondered what would happen if I were to accidentally bump into him somewhere.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Rosemary burst into the ladies’ room.
“What are you doing, Gillian? There are people out there waiting to meet you, and–oh my God, you’re as white as a sheet. You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
“As a matter of fact, I have.” Gillian’s voice had a strange tone. “You were right, Rosemary, when you said you had a bad feeling about tonight. I should have listened to you.”
“What on earth are you talking about?”
“Do you recall my ever telling you about a man named Ian Palmer?”
“Ian Palmer?” Rosemary searched her memory. “Ian Palmer? Ian Palmer? You know, that name sort of sounds familiar, now that I think about it.”
Gillian decided to clue her in.
“Ian Palmer was someone I knew many years ago. I first met him back when I was in college. That was long before Jason Matthews.”
“Oh yeah, now I think I remember, but I’m afraid I really don’t know very much about him. In all the years I’ve known you, you’ve probably only mentioned him to me once or twice. At least, that’s about all I can recall.”
Gillian let out a sigh.
“I know I’ve rarely spoken of him over the years, but he’s never been very far from my mind. Ian Palmer was the one man, Rosemary, the one man who I never got over. As the years passed, I came to realize that I would be in love with Ian Palmer for the rest of my life, even if I never saw him again. I guess it doesn’t matter how many other relationships I’ve had, or even how many marriages I’ve had. None of them was Ian. I suppose that’s why, in the end, none of them worked out for me.”
Gillian reached into her purse, pulled out her compact and started dabbing fresh make-up on her face.
“You know, over the past the twenty-five years, there probably hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I haven’t thought of Ian. I don’t mean for it to sound like I’m obsessing over him. Most of the time they were just memories, or brief, passing thoughts. Then, when Jason arrived on the scene, I thought that maybe the reason why it didn’t work out with Ian all those years ago was because I was really meant to be with Jason. Guess I was wrong on that one too, wasn’t I?”
“So why on earth are you bringing up this man now? This is your opening night in Denver, Gillian. It’s a very big night for you, and you’re doing very well. I came in to tell you that someone else just went into Tony’s office to buy two of your watercolors. They told me they really love your work and they may come back to buy more.”
Rosemary stopped to think for a minute. The wheels were beginning to turn in her head.
“Wait a second, wait a second, that mystery-man. The one wearing the tan suit who just bought the painting hanging in the corner, of the barn and tractor. I haven’t had a chance to go over to introduce myself to him either. Now I remember. Didn’t you once tell me that Ian moved to Denver? Are you saying…?”
“Rosemary McGee, meet Ian Palmer.”
“Oh, my God. Gillian, I don’t know what to say. No wonder you look so pale.”
Gillian didn’t respond. She continued to touch up her make-up. Rosemary saw that she was fighting back the tears.
“You know, under the circumstances, I think we can break protocol. I’ll tell Tony that you’ve taken ill and I’ll take you back to the hotel. We’ll order you a stiff drink. A manhattan. We’ll make it a double. And you can have yourself a good cry.”
Gillian shook her head. She grabbed a fresh tissue and dabbed away the tear rolling down her cheek.
“No, Rosemary, that won’t be necessary. Really. I’m not going to let Ian win. Not this time. Just give me a few minutes to pull myself together. I’ll be fine.”
“You’re sure about that?”
Gillian nodded her head before wiping away another tear. As Rosemary watched, her curiosity started getting the better of her.
“You know, I can’t help but wonder what it is about that particular painting that he finds so fascinating.”
“Oh, I think I can explain that,” replied Gillian as she resumed fixing her make-up. “Ian grew up on a farm, somewhere in eastern Colorado. I think it may have been near the Kansas border, but I’m not certain. Anyway, he always said he felt guilty about leaving the family farm to become an architect, and who knows whatever became of the place. That painting must remind him of his childhood. That’s probably why he’s so drawn to it.”
Rosemary glanced at her watch.
“Well, I’m proud of you for deciding to stay. I know you’ve been startled, but I also know you, Gillian. You’re a pro. You’re not going to let this little unexpected bump in the road ruin a really good opening for you, which reminds me… I came in to let you know that the reporter and photographer from that newspaper just showed up.”
“It looks like the color’s come back into your face, but you’ll need to put on some fresh lipstick and straighten your hair a little. I’ll go out to tell them you came in to freshen up so you’ll look good for the photographer and that you’ll be ready in a couple minutes.”
“Thanks, Rosemary. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“Anytime. That’s what I’m here for. As for Ian Palmer, all I can say is he’s apparently been here for some time and he hasn’t bothered you. And since he’s just purchased one of your paintings, I think we can safely rule out his coming here to cause trouble for you. I’ll go out and give him our customary ‘thank you’ for buying your art. I’ll also try to keep him occupied for as long as I can so he won’t have an opportunity to disturb you while you’re talking to the reporters. You still need to personally thank him, the same way you’d thank anyone who purchases one of your paintings, but you don’t need to get involved in a long conversation with him. Just say thank you, nice seeing you again, and politely excuse yourself. I know you can do it, Gillian. Meantime, I need you to hurry up and get ready. There are people, some very important people, out there waiting for you.”
“Thanks, Rosemary. I’ll be ready in a couple of minutes.”
Gillian took a deep breath as Rosemary departed. With her on the job, Ian Palmer wouldn’t be a problem at all. She reached into her purse for her lipstick. As she applied it, she noticed the tiny scar over her upper right lip. It was a thin, white line, probably no more than an eighth of an inch long. It was so faint that even she hardly noticed it anymore. The memory of that day, however, would stay with her forever.